Need help diagnosing engine noise

  • Hello - My K has developed a noise...more of a knock...ugh. I've owned the car since 2001. My father-in-law and I pulled the motor and rebuilt with stock components in 2005. It has traveled approximately 5,000 miles over the that time. Most recently, it's been sitting (I know, not good) for many months...needless to say it hasn't been receiving much exercise for the last few years.


    I've been sorting out carb issues (symptom of sitting)....and noticed to my dismay a knocking noise. It appears to be coming from passenger side. The sound is present at idle...and increases at speed. I took out my mechanic's stethoscope to see if I could isolate if it was coming from top end...just couldn't get a good read.


    I uploaded an 18 second clip to see if the K community with their collective experience / expertise could get a better sense of what I may be dealing with.



    Thanks in advance for your thoughts / assistance.


    Kevin

  • Hi, i heard your noise, does the engine have a miss on one cylinder, does it go away or change when the clutch pedal is pushed down.is the noise louder on the fuel pump, have you taken an oil pressure test, if you can cancel the cylinders one at a time when its running is there a change in the noise on the canceled cylinder. just a few things to check before you do a tear down, also check your alt and crankshaft pulleys for problem , anything that will increase with engine speed.

  • Hey Chuck - thanks for the reply. My K is an automatic.....noise isn't louder at the fuel pump. Also, doesn't appear to be issue with alt & crankshaft pulleys. I'd say seat of pants is motor feels like it has a miss...but I believe that pre-dates current knock issue. I haven't checked oil pressure (externally). Do you have thoughts on best method to bypass stock oil pressure sender setup?


    In terms of cancelling cylinder as a diagnosis...are you thinking shadetree mechanic to disconnect one spark plug wire at a time with the engine idling. Idea is the knock stops when you pull a wire, you have a rod knock on that cylinder....sound right?


    I'm not the most mechanically inclined (though I have desire!)....so bear with me if I ask rudimentary questions or need further explanation.


    Thanks!


    Kevin

  • Kevin,


    As far as disconnecting a spark plug, the easiest way is to unplug one wire at a time from the distributor cap. Disconnect them all, one at a time, before starting the engine to make sure that they will disconnect easily once it is running. That way you will not get a shock or possibly get burned on the exhaust manifolds.


    Also if you had the miss prior to the knock, it could be a broken valve spring. Your valves are so noisy that I would suggest adjusting the valves before you proceed further. That would give you a chance to check your valve springs. If one was broken, you are at risk of dropping a valve and further running without checking could be a real problem. Yes, I have been there before so please heed this suggestion.


    -Fred-

    65 Koupe early San Jose Phoenician Yellow 4 speed
    66 GT Koupe Dearborn Blue 4 speed
    66 KGT San Jose fastback pony interior Silver Frost 4 speed
    64 Falcon sedan delivery 289 4 speed
    65 Ranchero 289 4 speed
    66 Corvette roadster 427/425 4 speed

  • Valves definitely sound loose, start there. Where does the oil pressure needle sit at idle? Although not the most accurate, anything below midpoint would could concern. You can add a mechanical gauge by putting a T fitting on where the stock pressure gauge is.


    It could be a rod bearing but that knock usually becomes more pronounced during engine deceleration. Have you tried to rev the engine and does the noise change when the revs come down?


    As a precaution, you may want to drain the oil to see if there is any sign of metal in it.

  • Today I tackled valve adjustment. All were loose....didn't see any broken valve springs, however, stomach dropped after removing drivers side valve cover found two dark clumps of metal shavings. First one is above cylinder #6 and second between cylinders 7 & 8. I also posted picture of the valve cover where you can see the material has congregated near oil inlet. Thoughts on likely source for the materials? Whatever it is...I know it's not good.


    I did change the oil and filter so I could see if there was any metal....and at this point....no surprise...light colored shavings. Not sure it shows well in the photo....mostly likely rod bearings? BTW, I didn't connect a mechanical oil filter...for what it's worth oil gauge at mid point.


    Finally, here is 50 second video of the car after starting up. Valves seem quieter...but the knock is still there. Is it safe to say next likely step is pulling the motor and tearing it down?


    Thanks,


    Kevin


  • It is good that you were able to adjust your valves although it is still pretty loose by my standards. All that said, I would be looking for a possible flat camshaft as that is not that uncommon today with current oils. On oil additive of ZZDP is a must for flat tappet cams as the oil industry has removed it from normal street motor oils to accommodate catalytic converters. I use Valvoline racing oil although there are several other good brands out there. Even diesel motor oil still has some ZZDP in it. This is only a guess on my part but I have seen lots of this in my time. Yes, it is time for removing the engine and going through it. Any more running is only going to damage more stuff as the metal stuff probably feels like valve grinding compound.


    -Fred-

    65 Koupe early San Jose Phoenician Yellow 4 speed
    66 GT Koupe Dearborn Blue 4 speed
    66 KGT San Jose fastback pony interior Silver Frost 4 speed
    64 Falcon sedan delivery 289 4 speed
    65 Ranchero 289 4 speed
    66 Corvette roadster 427/425 4 speed

  • Another possible is cam bearings turning in the block and blocking off the oil feed ports that supplies the push rods and rocker arms with oil. this was an issue with the Y block 292-312 ford engines .dealers would install an outside oiler tube through the valve cover to bypass the blocked oil passages. is there a double roller timing chain in your engine, that would be rubbing on the inside of the timing cover as hey are thicker than the factory k code crank gear . just some things to look at if you do a tear down.

  • Fred & Chuck - many thanks to you both for your insights!


    It looks like a tear down is in order...tough one given I confirmed this morning after reviewing notes, receipts, etc. that the car has traveled only 5,000 miles (over 15 years) since last complete tear down.


    Speaking of last rebuild, nothing but stock spec internals...which is what I plan do to again this time around. In looking at the machine shop notes...original block was bored out 0.030. This was done some time before I bought the Kar in 2001. I understand it's not recommended (generally) to go over 0.030 which I don't want to do. Hopefully a dip and good hone will do the trick.


    Guys, if I get bad news do I sonic test and see if block is a candidate to bump out to 0.060 or am I looking to find a bit of a unicorn 54+ years later in the form of a donor block with standard bore & date codes that fall in line?


    Finally, are there recommendations for engine rebuild (stock) parts....vendors for camshaft, pistons, etc.? I want to start generating a list based on full rebuild (knowing it'll change once it's opened up), so I can get a sense of the $ for parts....then it's negotiation time with the wife. lol.


    Anyway, as mentioned above, I was involved in the last engine build 15 years ago...but I'd classify myself in the process as the 'apprentice'. My father-in-law was the guy...very talented with anything mechanical. He's since passed (which I think has contributed to my lack of interest in driving the Kar over the past 10 years..just not the same)....so I'll be doing this myself...and as a novice...probably going to ask basic questions, so thanks for your patience.


    Kevin

  • If your cam indeed did go flat, I do have an NOS Ford one with NOS lifters. I also have an original Hipo cam professionally reground to stock specs. The only reason that I am on the camshaft trail is the residue that I see in your pictures has that texture.


    I have a lot of other NOS Ford pieces that may be needed during your repair as well.


    With so few miles on the block, it is likely that it will clean up in the cylinder bores unless something chunky got in there. I would not get ahead of yourself on the block until you really see what you have after tear down.


    Exactly what oil have you been using?


    -Fred-

    65 Koupe early San Jose Phoenician Yellow 4 speed
    66 GT Koupe Dearborn Blue 4 speed
    66 KGT San Jose fastback pony interior Silver Frost 4 speed
    64 Falcon sedan delivery 289 4 speed
    65 Ranchero 289 4 speed
    66 Corvette roadster 427/425 4 speed

  • Fred - point taken on not getting too far ahead. :-)


    For reference, according to my circa 2005 receipt (NPD) it is a repro camshaft with stock specs...but who knows for sure. Same holds true on the lifters...repro w/stock specs. Maybe the cam did get wiped out...what about the shiny flakes in the oil...that could be bearing related, correct?


    This time around, it would give piece of mind to know what is being installed is correct. As I get into it, I'll reach out to share what I need....and you can bump up to what you have. It would be good to know where biggest value would be in using NOS versus repro when factoring in available funds, how the car will be driven forward, etc.


    I've been been using 10w/30....Castrol (no zddp additives...will do so moving forward). I just put in 10w/40 but that doesn't matter now since I won't be running the car until rebuilt. I'm not passionate about any specific brand or weight of oil. I live in Sacramento, so summers are hot.


    By the way, here's a picture of my K that was taken last weekend. It definitely deserves some love....I'm kicking myself because I'm sure lack of exercise contributed to what's happening.


    Thanks!


    Kevin

  • Kevin, I am not trying to get ahead of this too much myself as it serves no purpose until the reality is found. You may very well be correct about the shiny flakes in the oil being bearings. There is usually a cause for bearing failures and a camshaft flattening is definitely not good for the bearings and has an immediate effect as there is so much oil recirculating around inside of the engine. I could easily be wrong on the camshaft but in the new world of oils without ZZDP, I have just seen this too much. Google ZDDP for a real eye opener on the world without it. Most automotive engines after 1986 have roller cams and those cams are fine with regular oils. Flat tappet cams are different as you have two hard metal surfaces scraping together against the pressure of the valve springs to open the valves. The ZDDP is what helps to keep the oil on those two surfaces to minimize the possible scuffing. A friend of mine just went through this on his 428CJ engine. What I thought I heard in your first video prior to adjusting your valves was one valve that was looser than the others. Was one of them looser by a larger margin? Dis you adjust your valves running or with the engine off? Engine off is a much more accurate way in my opinion.


    -Fred-

    65 Koupe early San Jose Phoenician Yellow 4 speed
    66 GT Koupe Dearborn Blue 4 speed
    66 KGT San Jose fastback pony interior Silver Frost 4 speed
    64 Falcon sedan delivery 289 4 speed
    65 Ranchero 289 4 speed
    66 Corvette roadster 427/425 4 speed

  • Fred, There were at least two that were considerably more loose than the others. I adjusted them with engine off (cold). Speaking of adjustments, what are your thoughts on using poly locks (or similar) to extend amount of time between adjustments? Didn't Ford start using a lock nut with Boss 302's?


    Thanks,


    Kevin

  • Fred, There were at least two that were considerably more loose than the others. I adjusted them with engine off (cold). Speaking of adjustments, what are your thoughts on using poly locks (or similar) to extend amount of time between adjustments? Didn't Ford start using a lock nut with Boss 302's?


    Thanks,


    Kevin

    I am happy to hear that you adjusted your valves with the engine off as that is generally more accurate. The ones that were considerably more loose are the ones most likely on flattened lobes, but not always. Not that it matters at this point but if your remember which ones they were, you could check the difference in lift between those and others without starting the engine again.


    In regards to poly locks, I use them on all of my solid lifer cars, which also includes a Chevrolet. I can go a very long time between adjustments with them. I have not readjusted my Chevrolet in over 20 years. There are some tricks in using poly locks as it is not just a matter of getting your clearance correct and then tightening the set screw.


    -Fred-

    65 Koupe early San Jose Phoenician Yellow 4 speed
    66 GT Koupe Dearborn Blue 4 speed
    66 KGT San Jose fastback pony interior Silver Frost 4 speed
    64 Falcon sedan delivery 289 4 speed
    65 Ranchero 289 4 speed
    66 Corvette roadster 427/425 4 speed

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